Tag Archives: Michel Rabagliati

CBC talks to Canadian cartoonists: Seth, Michel Rabagliati, Jillian Tamaki, Chester Brown

Seth - clyde fans

CBC kicks off a new series of interviews with Canadian cartoonists under their Canada Writes banner:

Canada Writes is talking to some of Canada’s best known cartoonists and graphic novelists on the different techniques, challenges, and advantages of working with both text and drawings.

Make art…make more art” – An interview with Seth

Cartoonist Seth talks about reading Mad Magazine, following in the footsteps of trailblazers like Robert Crumb and Art Spiegelman, and the serious attention currently given to comics.

I’ve been a big fan of Seth‘s work since about 2004. Clyde Fans is a fantastic work of comics and belongs on your shelf with graphic novel by Art Spiegelman, Will Eisner, Chris  Ware, and the Hernandez Brothers.

An excerpt from the interview:

D+Q-Seth-himselfBy the time I had grown up and realized I didn’t want to draw Spiderman, or work at MAD, it was too late. I was a cartoonist. The problem then was trying to figure out what a young adult interested in art and literature could do with the comics medium.

Strangely for a variety of reasons I still don’t fully  understand, comics have made a major comeback and have gained a lot of legitimacy in the last ten years. When I started out in the eighties, the idea of creating serious comics for adults was pretty laughable to most folks and for the longest time it was hard to even explain what alternative comics or graphic novels were. Nobody seemed to understand or care. Not so, any longer.

 Comics are given serious attention now and I’m quite surprised. You see them reviewed in major newspapers and exhibited in serious museums. I wouldn’t have predicted it.

Jill Tamaki is one on this list whose work I’m not familiar with. She co-created the graphic novel, Skim, with her cousin Mariko Tamaki to wide acclaim including the Ignatz Award (2008), and in 2009 a Joe Shuster Award (Mariko as writer) and a Doug Wright Award for Best Book. It also earned four Eisner nominations that year. Originally from Calgary, Jill produces the webcomic SuperMutant Magic Academy. She and Mariko have a new book, Awago Beach, coming out in 2014.

jilltamaki-selfJust start making things and don’t stop! The barrier to entry in comics is extremely low. The materials can be extremely cheap. You don’t need a lot of space. You don’t necessarily need to be able to draw well. It’s easier than ever to publish your comics online. The only thing you need is a point of view and something to say.

The interview is a bit thin, but you can read the rest of it here.

michelrabagliati-selfFinally, check out a slideshow of Michel Rabagliati‘s workshop. Michel won Best Book at this year’s Doug Wright Awards for The Song of Roland. I first came across Rabagliati in 2005 with Paul Moves Out. He has such excellent storytelling skills. Solid any way you slice it. You can’t get go wrong with any of his books.

(UPDATE: May 29)

Chester Brown – Advice for people considering a profession in cartooning

chesterbrown2-selfWhat would you tell an aspiring comics artist who is starting out today? 

Don’t get married. Oh, you wanted a “writing/drawing/creating tip”. Don’t rely too heavily on narrative captions. Dialogue is more involving for readers.
But really, don’t get married.

I ran that one for the laughs, but Brown offers some insightful answers to some decent questions. You should check out the full interview.

While my plan is to keep this story updated with links to all the interviews as they come out, we’ll see how long before I lapse.

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Scott Thompson hosts the Doug Wright Awards 2013


This year, 2013, was only my second time attending the Doug Wright Awards. I was introduced last year when Terry Mosher earned his Giants of the North hall of fame award. That event was hosted by Toronto-based entertainment and pop culture columnist Geoff Pevere.

Scott Thompson, of Kids in the Hall and Hannibal fame, was this year’s MC. Completely entertaining as you might expect. I dragged along my buddy Derek Evernden who made the banner for this blog. He had a blast.

I only became vaguely aware of the awards in 2010, but imagined it would be some super-stuffy insider’s event. (Only half-true!) Not only was it hugely entertaining (in the best and most geeky way possible), but my favourite part was discovering brilliant talent. Last year, I didn’t know any of the nominees. I’m not embarrassed to say that I was a complete newbie to the Canadian indie comics scene despite my having attended TCAF since 2005. This year, at least I’d read two of the nominated books across all three categories.

Collected here are some Tweets that I sent out during the awards along with some by a few others. But first, enjoy the intro video featuring some of the evening’s nominated books brought to life with the voice talent of Scott Thompson and others.


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Countdown to TCAF 2012: guest and event highlights

My favourite annual comic gathering, Toronto Comics Art Festival, is around the corner.

TCAF seems to get a little bigger and better with each edition, and 2012 seems to follow the rule.

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been able to attend the fest Friday evening kickoff event, and I’m particularly jazzed by this year’s panel lineup: Jeff Smith, Gabriel Ba and Fabio MoonSmith is the creator of the wildly successful series Bone. I stumbled upon Brazilian twins Ba and Moon on Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse) and followed them to the award-winning mini-series Daytripper (Vertigo), easily one of my favourite books of 2010.

You can visit this page to review the full list of featured guests. But here are four noteworthy Canadian guests:

Aislin: There are few political cartoonists whose work is as widely distributed as Terry Mosher. He’s the cartoonist for Montreal newspaper The Gazette, but his work has appeared almost everywhere. And he’s won numerous awards. I met Mosher during my  Maclean’s magazine years. He’s a fantastic guy always willing to go the extra mile. Check out his talk if you have the chance. He has lots of share.

Nova Scotia native Kate Beaton will be around. (Congrats on her nomination for this year’s Doug Wright Best Book award category. Good luck to all the nominees.) She’s been getting a lot of press recently. Her webcomic Hark! A Vagrant won the Harvey Award in 2011 in the online comic category.

Quebec City-born Guy Delisle will visit from his home in France to launch his new graphic novel, The Jerusalem Chronicles (reviews here and here), answer some questions in a Q&A and screen a short film documenting a year of Delisle’s life creating this book. If the event isn’t sold out yet, I might try to make it out.

Finally another Montrealer, Michel Rabagliati, will be on hand. When I read my first Rabagliati book, Paul Moves Out, my immediate impression was of comic art rooted in European comics history of bandes-dessinees. A real strong piece of work. I’m looking forward to picking up one or two more of books.

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Comic events in Montreal and New York

D+Q anniversary poster

D+Q anniversary poster


Wishing I was in Montreal

Tomorrow (June 3), TV on The Radio and Dirty Projectors play the Drawn + Quarterly 20th anniversary bash. Twenty years already? That’s crazy. So much talent there: Chester Brown, Seth, Guy Delisle. I wrote this review of Michel Rabagliati’s Paul Moves Out (published by D+Q) for Maclean’s back in 2005.


Wishing I was in New York

Jason has a new book coming out, which I did not know and am totally jazzed to discover. Low Moon (Fantagraphics), it’s titled, and he’s going to be at The Strand bookstore in NYC tomorrow (June 3). I’m still looking to pick up a copy of I Killed Adolph Hitler.

Also at The Strand, Seth (!) and Adrian Tomine. They’re going to show some slides and chat with the audience. If anyone has the opportunity to attend, I’d love to hear all about it. Drop me a line or comment.

Check out The Strand event calendar for more info.

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